ROC Leadership Team and Roles

Senior Leadership

Darren Ash - Executive Director, The ROC.  Darren serves as full time Executive Director at no salary. His main role is to connect student participants to the construction industry in the form of mentorships, apprenticeships and permanent job placement.  Darren has a strong track record of collaborating to achieve long-term organizational growth and sustainability. He was one of 3 founding partners of Apartment Realty Advisors (ARA), the largest private multi-family investment sales company in the U.S. until it was purchased by a publically-traded NY firm in 2014 ( He also founded and ran Charlotte Family Housing (CFH) for 7 years, now the largest shelter to rapid re-housing agency in NC ( For the past 4 years, he has run Common Wealth Charlotte (CWC), a trauma-informed financial education and emergency loan program for low wage workers ( Darren was awarded Charlotte's Non-profit Community Leader of the Year in 2010 and the Goodwill's Jack Callaghan Cornerstone Award in 2014. He graduated The University of Georgia in 1982 with a Masters of Tax and CPA designation. 

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Margaret Thornton - Associate Director / CTE Coordinator, The ROC / CPCC.   Margaret is employed by Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) but serves full time for The ROC in 3 critical roles: recruitment of student participants, student support services and student / industry connectivity.  She has worked for CPCC the last 3 ½ years as a CTE Coordinator promoting a construction-focused Career and College Promise path to middle and high school students.  Prior to working at CPCC, Margaret owned and operated Emerald Green Construction, a construction / interior design company with previous projects that spanned area churches, CMS schools, hospitality and residential, both new construction and renovations.  She also spent 14 years in corporate banking and sales management before returning back to her family roots in construction and interior design. 

Email Margaret at

Steve Corriher - Division Director of Construction Technologies, CPCC.  As Division Director at CPCC’s Harper Campus Construction Technologies Division Steve oversees programs in Architecture, Electrical Systems, Construction Management, Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration and the Crowder Construction Institute. In addition to development curriculum and instructor training, Steve also provides industry coordination and connectivity for The ROC.

Dr. Matthew Hayes - Northwest Community Superintendent, CMS. Matt is a regional superintendent for CMS overseeing Harding, West Meck and Phillip O Berry High Schools. He has led several successful CTE pathways within the CMS school and was previously at principal at North Meck High School.

Brian Otto - Director of Construction Services, Goodwill Industries.   Brian oversees the design / build team (C-Design and Liles Construction Co) toward a successful completion of the facility retro-fit of the Goodwill Construction Skills Training Center. Brian will also oversee the facilities management of the GCSTC upon completion of the retrofit.

Board of Directors

Dr. Kelly Trainor - Dean of Harper Campus, CPCC.  Kelly serves as the Harper Campus Dean at CPCC and is chair of The ROC Board of Directors. He is heavily involved in curriculum development for The ROC and all CTE instructors for the ROC will be hired, trained and supervised by Kelly’s CPCC team. Kelly earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. from Arizona State University.

Otis Crowder - Chairman of Board, Crowder Construction.  Otis is a co-owner of of Crowder Construction, a major Charlotte based general contractor with over 1,000 employees in the Southeast. Otis and Bill Crowder funded and founded the Crowder Construction Institute located at CPCC's Harper Campus.

Molly Shaw - Executive Director, Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Molly serves as Executive Director of Communities In Schools whose mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Molly earned a Bachelor of Arts from Davidson College and a Master's of Education at Harvard.

Trent Haston - President / CEO, Roby Family of Companies.  A graduate of Harding High School, Trent grew up watching his grandfather and father as they built the Roby legacy. From laborer, carpenter and project manager to now President and CEO of the Roby Family of Companies, Trent understands and appreciates what it takes to do every job within the construction industry.  He graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2000 and was previously president of the Homebuilders Association.

Susan Gann-Carroll - Director – Career & Technical Education, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.  Susan works within the CMS system to create industry validated trade pathways for graduating high school students. Previously, Susan was a Senior Manager for CTE for the Chicago Public Schools.

Bird Anderson - Executive Vice President - Homebuilder Banking, Wells Fargo. Bird is head of Homebuilder Banking for the Commercial Real Estate Group at Wells Fargo. He provides banking services to regional and national homebuilders and land developers across key markets in the U.S. Bird graduated with a BA from Vanderbilt University in 1985.